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AAMCO Transmission tried to steal my car
Posted by Lampworker2009 on 05/28/2009
GAINESVILLE, FLORIDA -- In January 2009, my 2003 VW Beetle had transmission problems and required repairs.
I contacted several companies in the US that had wrecked or rebuilt transmission that would work in my car. The quotes were anywhere from $2900 to $3200 plus labor to install (this also ranged from $300-500). I also contacted AAMCO Transmission in Gainesville, FL for a quote on rebuilding the original transmission. They told me over the phone that the quote would be $2700 for a rebuilt transmission for my car. He did say that this was for “soft parts” only. I told him this could not turn into a $5000 repair job. He stated that the most it would cost over the quote would be $489 and that was only if they had to replace the torque converter. He promised me it would not go any higher. All of this conversation was injected with honey, sweetheart, we would never do that to you…
After AAMCO started the work on my car, I didn’t hear back from them for over 5 days. I called on Tuesday, Feb. 2, 2009 and asked how things were going with my car. They said, “Oh, bad news”. Now the quote for the repairs was for over $4700. I told them I could not pay that. He told me it was too late-the work had already been done and there was no going back. I asked what options I had at that time and he said “None”.
AAMCO stated that I had authorized the work on my car based on the fact that I gave my father’s first name (John). My father’s name was Charles.
I received a certified letter on April 9, 2009 from AAMCO with their intentions to auction my car on May 7, 2009 for $4182.30. They were also charging me $50 a day storage since whenever they decided to start charging me even more money so that I would be unable to get my car back. I consulted a lawyer and after hearing my story, he told me to file a civil suit in small claims court and tell the judge exactly what you told me. He said that since they refused to provide me with a written quote and the quote was changed after the work began, that they could not legally take my car. I called the manager AAMCO and I asked him to please do not auction my car. I told him the case had been reopened by Consumer Services and that I had filed for an emergency hearing at the Clerk of Courts. I had also called Consumer Services that day and he said to call AAMCO and try to work out a deal with them. He said he had no power to stop the auction. When I spoke with AAMCO at AAMCO, he told me he didn’t care what Consumer Services said, he would do as he pleased. He also stated that I file all the civil suits I wanted, he would sell the car if he wanted to. I also asked him could I please have my personal belonging from the car. He said no I could not. Everything in the car belonged to him now. I said are you telling me I can’t have my personal belonging and he then backtracked and said that the car was in another location and when and if it were auctioned, I would maybe get my personal effects.
On May 25, 2009, my daughter and I were driving around looking for a used car for her. She is in school at the University of West Florida and her car recently had a timing belt break which in turn ruined the engine. The car was old (Honda 1989 CRX) so we sold it for scrap and we were out looking for another older car. We drove by AAMCO on Main Street and I told Jessica “There’s the place that stole my car” as we drove by. She said “I see it. It’s parked in the back.” I couldn’t believe it was there since I was told it was elsewhere. We drove over to the car and found a note left by Detective Quirk. The note stated that the vehicle was unlawfuly entered. A witness observed the suspect and called 911. Officers located and arrested the suspect but were unable to contact me.
I was so upset. AAMCO had left my car unlocked-both doors. The car is keyless entry only. The back window was partially down and the back floorboard carpets were standing in about 2 inches of water. My vehicle registration and insurance card were laying on the passenger seat. The glove box was destroyed and would not open. I’m not sure what all was taken since it has been so long since I have seen my car. I made a decision at that time to take my car back. I called a friend and he came and towed the car to his garage. He has since looked at the car. The transmission and all the mountings for the transmission are missing.
I was contacted (May 26) by the Gainesville police in reference to both the break in on Sunday and they also informed me that AAMCO had reported the car as stolen. I told them it was not stolen. She said that AAMCO stated they held title to my car. I said they do not hold title to my car, I hold the title to my car. Then she corrected herself and stated that AAMCO had filed for title to my car. It is my understanding of the law that AAMCO is attempting to obtain title to my car by illegal means. Also, I would not disclose the location of my car to the Gainesville police because I feared that AAMCO would try to steal it. The police stated that this was a civil matter and they would not pursue it.
I paid $30,000.00 for my 2003 Turbo Charged, fully loaded VW Beetle Convertible. For 5 years, I paid payments of $575 each month. I finally paid the car off on January 9, 2009 when I received my first paycheck in 6 months. I got several quotes, selected the Lowest, and expected the repair shop to be honest in dealing with me. They have been everything but honest with me. Everything AAMCO has told me thus far has been a lie. I also find it very dishonest to refuse to provide me with a written quote despite how many times I asked. Yes, I finally got the quotes on Feb. 10, 2009, but by then it was too late, according to AAMCO. The work had been done.

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Posted by Skye on 2009-05-28:
Did you sign any paperwork before they did all this work??
Posted by saj80 on 2009-05-28:
When is your court case? If what you are saying is true, and they can not provide a signed authorization, you may very well easily win this case and get a judgment against AAMCO.
Posted by BokiBean on 2009-05-28:
So when are you going to take the attorney's advice?
Posted by NofriendofAX on 2009-05-28:
Great review. Nice to know what could happen if you don't get everything in writing. If someone gave me a quote that was lower than any of the mechanics, I would make sure they wrote on the quote that they will not work on the car if the bill exceeded a certain amount. This way neither is liable and you have it in writing.

I'm glad you got your car back - to bad it wasn't in great shape. It's kinda of poetic justice.

Good luck with the lawsuit - you'll have to let us know what happens....
Posted by Soaring Consumer on 2009-05-28:
You should definitely sue AAMCO for the maximum jurisdictional limit, which is $5,000. Any higher and you will have to take it to civil court (aka large claims court) which is more costly and time consuming.

Also, I recommend contacting your local Department of Motor Vehicles. Make sure they are aware of your situation so they do not change the title.

What happened to you is appalling and I will make sure to avoid this chain because of your story. Voted helpful.

Please keep us updated with your situation.
Posted by Slimjim on 2009-05-28:
I'm a little surprised the attorney didn't want to handle the case and recommended small claims. Considering the damage to the car, you may wish to go with representation, of course including that in the suit.
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My Three Week Transmission Repair In Dover Delaware
Posted by Rdaino on 11/12/2010
DOVER, DELAWARE -- Aamco visit number 1.(One day) after reading the check engine light code which stated my transmission was failing, I was quoted it would cost 1,600 to 2,000 dollars I choose to go to Aamco because it was a well known name. After first visit and trans. Repair my bill was 2,700 dollars. When I asked about the difference in price they said that there was more wrong than they thought, trusting the name from the constant commercials I've seen on TV I said ok. After I drove about two miles my check engine light came on. Then turn around and took it back and was told they forgot to reset that light. So they did that about 5 miles after I left this time it came on again. Went back and was told they didn't have time to investigate the problem but would discount the light and was told it would be fine and to bring it back later. Knowing that some auto repairs can be tricky I agreed and said ok. Visit number 2(3 hours).They switched some bushing because they said maybe the rebuilt ones they had put may have been bad. After waiting 3 hours I was told "opps" that they were also bad cause the problem still was not fixed. They then told me they would order new ones so I would have to come back when they got them in and mentioned that now "the fine jewels in my cat. Converter needed to settle because they have probably been disturbed. Trip number three(one day).All was good for a week then transmission started same thing it was doing in the beginning and check engine light is on again. Aamco trip number four (four days)now I'm being told nothing is wrong cause it's not messing up for them even after 5 of my friends have taken it for a ride and it messed up on all of them. I was just trying to get some input. Also, they say the check engine light is a code for the cat. Converter. Which now tom is saying they never touched it even he already told me they did. I will tell everyone I ever see, and working in two restaurants that's a lot, never never never go to Aamco if they don't fix this.1,600 To now what could be over 4,000 and now 6 days of unpaid work. Regretfully for choosing, rodney
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Fraudulent Practices
Posted by on 08/01/2007
BRONX, NEW YORK -- I was lured with the hopes of receiving a free estimate from aamco transmissions bronx ny location.

After they take your car they try and take your business by force. They call you and request your date of birth so they can check your car. They do not disclose any charges and since your under the impression that your receiving a free estimate you won't question it. They also won't give you a receit because its a free estimate.

After receiving an estimate of 2,500 to rebuild a transmission and you decide to go somewhere else they force you to pay $600.00. When you question them about their deceitful actions they lie and tell you, we offered you a free eds diagnostic that cost $39.99.

For someone like myself who knows about cars and I also had my car fix by many well known repair shops and never had a problem and when an owner of a franchise lies to you the best thing for you to do is not give them your business.

Go to ripoff.Com and see the numerous complaints this franchise is proudly accumulating. Their main aamco headquarters does not care. After complaining and reporting individually owned franchises are practicing bait and switch and using fraudulent business practices they don't even bother to call customers back. Aamco headquarters phone system ask you to enter your zip code and they will re direct you back to the aamco that defrauded you. This is ludicris.

The best way to combat fraud is for consumers to be aware. If you or a family member is a motorist quickly tell them don't use aamco transmissions. Email friends and tell them to email others. If I did my homework by checking online about a company I probably would have not been defrauded by these people.

This company is now offering to do other repairs to cars.

Many small shops repair transmissions. I got a rebuilt transmission from a small shop for $700.00 No tax. Its been over eight months now and I still don't have a problem. I also got a 6 month warranti. Imagine how much I was going to pay if I allowed aamco transmission to repair my transmission at 2,599.00 Plus tax and god only know how much other hidden fee they would have added.
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Posted by poppapia on 2007-08-02:
Why would they need your date of birth for a free estimate? Once they asked for that, I would have immediately told them to stop their work, and went and picked up the vehicle.
Posted by Hugh_Jorgen on 2007-08-02:
I'll bet you anything they wanted the DOB so they could pull a credit report on you and see how much they could soak you for.
Posted by runaway on 2007-08-02:
How did they force you to pay $600? About that time I'd be on the line to the police (for holding my vehicle without my signature on an estimate) and an attorney. About the time you mention attorney with these places tend to back down quite quickly~ just make sure they know the vehicle better by put back together correctly and you'll be taking it elsewhere to make sure they have.
Posted by DigitalCommando on 2007-08-02:
You should go to an investigative reporter and ask them to conduct a hidden camera sting investigation of the aamco stations in your area. They just love these kinds of things and besides, it gives them a break on reporting about Paris Hilton and the other 2 bimbos. Whenever I hear the word AAMCO, my mind becoms filled with words like, ripoff, greasy, slime balls etc. and I don't know how these con artists have stayed in business this long. They are kinda like the Mafia of the transmission business.
Posted by Leonidas10468 on 2007-08-20:

Hi, I had the same problem you described in July with AAMCO, I live in the Bronx and I would like to know the address of that mechanic who fixed your transmition under $1,000?
Secondly, you should take AAMCO to the small claim court as I did. Judges have these complains worked down to a table where they already now how long it takes to diagnose a transmition and to take it down fron the car. In my case I have %70 back of the ransom I paid to get my car out of AAMCO's claws.
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"Free" Diagnostic Report
Posted by Unhappy AL on 11/16/2009
My check engine light came on in my truck, so I decided to call around to see how much it would cost to get it checked out (some places do it for free- i.e. auto stores, except, as I was informed at AutoZone, no longer in the state of California). I had heard Aamco did it for free so I called not one, but TWO, Aamco stations to talk about an appointment and when I asked how much it would cost me to run the diagnostic, both told me it was free.

I took my car over to one, filled out all the paper work and had just handed over my keys when the guy tells me "the check is free with repairs" and I said, "Wait a minute, how much is it without repairs?" He proceeds to tell me that it is $40 if no repairs are done- NEITHER of the Aamco stations I talked to clarified that lovely little detail. I should have walked away right then, but I wanted to know what was wrong so I let them do it and ended up paying the $40 because I felt they were trying to rip me off when they said I needed a $400 repair.

That just gives you an idea of the type of establishment they are and what the employees are conditioned to say to customers.

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Posted by Anonymous on 2009-11-16:
Nothing if fee!!!!!!!!!!
Posted by DebtorBasher on 2009-11-16:
A wise member of M3C named PirateWithParrot, advised me to buy my own Diagnosis code reader...I am so happy that I listed to him, it has more than paid for itself several times. You can get them for about $99.00 and check your own car when the "Check Engine" light comes on. It will tell you exactly what is wrong with it and if it is something that is not needing to be fixed, you can erase the code so the light will go off until you're ready to fix it. It can also save you alot by telling you what is wrong with the car, and making sure the repair garage doesn't charge you up for a different job.

I was so happy with my diagnosis code reader, that I did my own review on it...check it out if you're interested in purchasing one. I believe the car has to be a 1996 or newer, but it will tell you the year of the cars it will work on.

Posted by Anonymous on 2009-11-16:
Good info DB. Man, this site sure needs Pirate back, don't you think?
Posted by DebtorBasher on 2009-11-16:
Absolutely Sheriff...you can see how fast it's gone downhill without him! It's as if everyone has lost that extra spring in their step...like a day without sunshine...like green eggs and no ham! So Sad...
Posted by MRM on 2009-11-16:
Harbor Freight has several Diagnostic Scanners for sale ranging from $42.99-$119.99. Get'em while the price is hot!
Posted by MRM on 2009-11-16:
The $119.99 model has a backlit display, which alot of others dont.
Posted by MRM on 2009-11-16:
But wait, theres more!!!
Posted by MRM on 2009-11-16:
If you buy any of the scanners, you'll receive a free padded case! So act now, dont wait!
Posted by Anonymous on 2009-11-16:
Many things are free if you use their service for something else. Why would a company pay employees to give estimates or diagnostics so you can go somewhere else and pay to have the work done.

When I work on computers, I give a free estimate if I am going to be hired to do the work. I charge $40 per hour. If I am hired, the first hour is free.

In the roofing business, a tarp on a roof for emergency is $250, but free if the roofing company gets the contract. Why would you think a company is going to spend money oif they are not going to make any?
Posted by DebtorBasher on 2009-11-16:
Lady, I had a place charge me $85.00 to run that diagnosis test on my car. That's when I knew, buying my own would be the best thing to do. Later, I found out that the gararge I usually take it to, will do it free for anyone without any strings. But, they are a bit of a distance and when my service engine light is on, I don't want to chance driving it without knowing what's wrong, so I used to have it towed in. They will also check out a car if you're planning on buying a used car, and let you know if there is anything mechanically wrong with it and they won't charge for it.
Posted by MRM on 2009-11-16:
DB, 2nite I had just bought a PC-based diagnostic scanner as eeen here: http://www.scantool.net/obdlink.html

PC-based OBD scanner are more versatile compared to a standalone unit and it also makes you more professional.
Posted by MRM on 2009-11-16:
I shall write a review of this great gizmo as soon as it is delivered. Stay tuned!
Posted by DebtorBasher on 2009-11-16:
That page can not be found.
Posted by MRM on 2009-11-16:
UPDATE: the link is fixed.
Posted by DebtorBasher on 2009-11-16:
Nice...mine came with a computer disk too, but I've never used it.
Posted by MRM on 2009-11-16:
Im installing the diagnostic software on my 10" netbook. I cant wait to get my grubby hands on this gizmo as the fun begins!
Posted by DebtorBasher on 2009-11-16:
Just watch and see how long it takes for your 'Service Engine" light to come on, once you get it. I had to wait about three months,just so I can try it.
Posted by MRM on 2009-11-16:
It'll be quite awhile before my engine light comes on. I'll try it on my friends car.
Posted by Anonymous on 2009-11-16:
DB, most of us have cars that were made beyond the 70's. (FYI)
Posted by DebtorBasher on 2009-11-16:
That may be true ZZ...but remember, those with cars, USUALLY remembers to pick it back up at the 'Park-N-Ride' on their way home from work...BEFORE they take the bus all the way home! (FYI)...

Posted by Anonymous on 2009-11-16:
DB, I have no idea what you are referring to. Perhaps, you have me mistaken with some other chap here.
I have a chauffeur.
Posted by DebtorBasher on 2009-11-16:
No, I'm sure I have the right man.
Posted by Anonymous on 2009-11-16:
DB, true, but a person should always ask to make sure there is no charge and never assume that free is free.
Posted by DebtorBasher on 2009-11-16:
But Lady, the poster said he asked two Aamco stations how much the test would be, and they both told him it would be free. So, he wasn't assuming it was free, he was told it was. From what the poster stated, they did not tell him it was free WITH repairs only.
Posted by Anonymous on 2009-11-16:
DB, I missed that. Perhaps the OP did too. Possibly only heard free and didn't listen to anything else...

Like the girl I sold my old computer to yesterday. I told her 4 times I had cleaned it off and set it back to factory settings, and that before she could do anything, she had to update Windows....she called me asking why her yahoo messenger didn't work...

I then asked "Did you run the updates?" After walking her through it, she calls back an hour later...."I ran the update and now it keeps telling me to restart my computer..." I tell her to go ahead. THEN, she calls BACK again..."the yahoo doesn't work."

"Are all the updates finished?......." Of course, the answer is NO...SO...I have said the same thing multiple times and guess what? She only heard what she wanted to hear..."Can the computer get online?"

Oh, and the last question she asked? Why is the internet slow...Because you are using Cricket wireless and it sucks?

(sigh) Next time I sell my computer to a person who can listen and follow instructions AND knows how to use one.
Posted by DebtorBasher on 2009-11-16:
Nah, next time sell your computer to a complete stranger and give them a fake phone number...LOL!
Posted by redmx3racer on 2009-11-17:
MRM-if you want to try it out that bad just take the gas cap off and let the car run for a little while-that will trigger it haha. Or unhook one of your sensors. Easy enough!
I have a ODB II scanner-works wonders. Then again-you need it in my business.
Posted by Anonymous on 2009-11-17:
Red, a co-worker of mine had that happen to her. Luckily her mechanic didn't charge her and arm and a leg for a loose gas cap.
Posted by flypartsguy on 2010-02-18:
I just have to say, I myself manage an Aamco center in Ky. and I agree that they shouldn't have charged you the $40 but that DOESN'T mean that ALL Aamco's are deceitful or dishonest. I have had nothing but POSITIVE reviews from my shop so PLEASE don't make assumptions about our company due to a few shady shops among over 1000!!!
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Bait & Switch
Posted by Alin on 08/06/2006
DES PLAINES, ILLINOIS -- I need to rebuilt my transmission on my 2003 dodge intrepid. i phoned aamco about their price and service and i was told to bring in the car and let them do a Free EDS Electronic Diagnostic Service on the car to pinpoint what the problem is in order to give me an accurate price. I thought that was fair. I left my car at their shop and the next day they call me to say that the price to rebuilt my transmission would be $1295. I gave them the authorization to start on the work at this price. The next day they call me to say that they found other things that need to be changed related to the tranmission and the price is now $2200! when i told them that i dont want them to do it at that price and im coming to pick up my car they said that i owe them $395 for labor charge now because they took down the transmissiona dn opened it up. I felt this was unfair since they told me the high $2200 AFTER they opened the transmission, leaving me with no choice but to either pay their $395 or do it at their shop. I would never never take any of my cars to Aamco and i do not recommend noone to take it there either. They use pressure tactics for you to leave the car at their shop and do the work and charge you more than what they tell you. They are a classic ripoff and someone needs to close them down.
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Posted by eperry2 on 2006-08-07:
Seems unfair in a way however it is true that a complicated repair like this does take time to check out and some things cant be seen until the trans is removed so while annoying no trans shop could tell you before they do it exactly what it will cost. Thats why I go to an independent machanic who just gives me a rebuilt part installed price and while I know it is more money I trust the work and there is no hassle. AAMCO is in trouble these days since they just dont rebuilt transmissions enough like they used to - AMCO is even going to trying to sell tires now to make enough money to survive - they must be desperate.
Posted by bezo112 on 2006-08-15:
I agree with you 100% and u shouldn't have 2 pay for anything. Which Aamco was this that did this to you?
Posted by Dee888 on 2006-12-12:
The same problem: A couple of weeks ago, I had my personal mechanic check my car out and since he didn't specialize in rebuilding transmissions I called around in search of transmissions spacialists.
When I called Aamco (North Miami Beach, FL location) a gentleman whom said he was the owner, told me he could tow and check my car absolutely free. Since I purchased the car only 6 months earlier I wanted to save as much money as possible, so I asked 3 times "Is there ANY charge I should be advised of?" He repeatedly said no and told me he would inspect the car and call me the following day for an APPROXIMATE quote. The same day he called and told me it would be between $1,000 - $1,600 and he would only know exactly after he took the engine apart, knowing a little about mechanics I asked him how much it would cost to put the engine back together if I wasn't interested and he said a few hundred dollars. I told him I needed to think about it and would call him back, his attitude changed immediately and told me to call him by 5pm when it was already 3:45pm, when I called back at 4:30pm and told him I was not interested he quickly said "I'm on the other line, I will call you back"(throughout the day he always took my calls but the he seemed to be pushing me away).
I started to get nervous after calling again at 5pm without a response, when he picked up he told me I could NOT pick up my car, my boyfriend immediately drove us to the Aamco shop and got on the cellphone with him, as we were parked in his lot staring at my car he again said I could not get my car, I asked why and he said it wasn't safe, well I said it didn't matter, then he replied "The only thing is that you have to pay $50 for the tow" when I advised him that he didn't previously inform me of this charge he replied with "Why would you assume it's free", form that point I lost control and told him I would call the police if he didn't come outside and give me my car, right away he said ok you don't have to pay and played the concerned act.
***He only advised me of the fee for putting the transmission back together, if work was declined, after I asked specifically.
Be aware people ask as many questions as you'd like and do your research.
From a female car owner!!!
Take care!
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Poor service on transmission rebuild
Posted by I_del on 08/25/2012
BARRIE ONTARIO CANADA -- We recently had to have our transmission rebuilt due to a radiator failure in our 2003 Acura MDX. We picked up the SUV after a week and noticed that the "D" on the gear selector was flashing.

We returned the SUV to Aamco and were told that it was a pressure sensor and that they did not have the special tool to install it.
We went to Acura where they replaced the sensor, I asked the people at the service desk why it required a special tool and they looked at me kind of couriously and said it's no special tool only a regular wrench.

When I returned to Aamco they denied the whole thing and stated that the switch was not included in the rebuild of the transmission.
I explained to them that this problem was not present when the transmissiom cooler burst.

5 months down the road we were on the higway and I was accelerating from an on ramp onto the highway when the transmission slipped out of gear.
We returned the SUV to Aamco for repair. While we were there I took a technician out for a test drive and the fault occurred while we were out.

We returned to the shop and the tecnician and the manager were talking about it. We were told to bring the SUV back the next day . My partner brougt it back the next day and the manager and her took it out for another drive. The problem did not occur with the SUV at that time and he stated I can't fix what is not broken. He stated that it could be driver error that was causing the problem.

1 month later we started to experience severe hesitation which felt like a clogged fuel filter so we returned the SUV to Acura. They took it out for a test drive and they called back and told us that they needed to tow the SUV back, that the transmission was dead. The SUV was towed back to Aamco where they took the transmission apart and found that a pump in the transmission was worn and they needed to order a new one. This particular part could not be found in the whole of North America! So it had to be ordered from Japan!!! Total wait time 3 weeks plus installation.

My complaint is that we had to rent a car and pay for it for a fault that arose from Aamco's poor workmanship. I can understand if I brought the SUV in the first time and it was being repaired. But since this was being done under Warrany I feel the onus is on Aamco to provide us with a rental until the SUV is repaired.

I feel that this is very unprofessional of this company and I will never patronize this business again.
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Never Take Your Vehicle to AAMCO in Laurel, Maryland
Posted by on 05/13/2012
LAUREL, MARYLAND -- On February 17, 2012, for safety I had my vehicle towed to Aamco. I contacted AAMCO via telephone (301) 776-5944, located at 20 Washington Blvd, Laurel, Maryland 20707, Laurel, Maryland, that the vehicle would be towed because I believe the transmission was slipping. At this time my name, address and date of birth was requested by a representative, Bob. Once vehicle arrived; 2004 Mitsubishi Endeavor reached AAMCO, Bob from AAMCO called, notified that they had received the vehicle and they would inspect vehicle to determine the problem and would call me on Monday February 20 because they had a backlog. He mentioned they would do diagnostic on the vehicle to determine what exactly the problem was.

Monday, February 20, Bob notified that the transmission was gone and that it would cost $5,200 to rebuild the transmission. I stated that was entirely too high, why would I pay $5,200 for a rebuilt transmission, when I could purchase a new transmission from the dealer for $3,900. I told him that this price was ridiculous and I would come to retrieve my vehicle. He then notified me that I would have to pay $795 to put the transmission back in my vehicle. I was stunned because I never signed or gave authorization to have the transmission taken out of vehicle only to determine if the problem was the transmission. On Tuesday, February 21, a certified mechanic and I went to retrieve vehicle, only to be told that the price to rebuild the vehicle was $6,200 (the price changed) and $795 was due. The mechanic informed the shop that they didn’t have to drop the transmission to determine if it was gone, they could have driven the vehicle or put on a machine and inform me that the transmission was gone and gave the cost. This was not done nor did I sign a contract.

AAMCO is refusing to return my vehicle unless I pay them $795 to reinstall the transmission. At no point did I sign or authorize to have any work performed.
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Posted by BigAl on 2012-05-13:
The sad case here is that they could have driven your vehicle and determined the transmission was bad and STILL charge you $795 diagnostic fee. Also they are not charging you $795 to put the transmission back in the car. If you want proof of this try to get the car released "as is" and put your tranny in a pickup truck to take with you. They will also refuse that. When a place like AAmco sees a tow truck bring a car in--dollar signs go off in their heads. You approved verbally to have diagnostic work performed on your car without getting a price. Never a smart move. The bottom line here is to never do business with a crook.
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Bad Mechanics Bad Business
Posted by Erinmommaof3 on 07/20/2010
WEST PALM BEACH, FLORIDA -- I took my 99 Mazda 626 in for transmission repairs on 9/25/09 at which time the shop performed a total rebuild for $2000. Not even 2 months later, the car had problems at which time I took the car back and they again spent 2 days repairing the transmission because they had failed to replace a part that they were 'unsure' needed repair the first time. Luckily, they did not charge me. Now, less than 10 months later the car again has transmission problems. In fact, my nanny was left stranded on an open highway unable to drive more than 50 miles from home. AAMCO of West Palm towed the car 50 miles to its location from Weston, FL only to tell me oh we just looked into and you are out of warranty. I had driven 13,770 miles since the transmission was originally done on the 25th, but less than 12,000 when the fixed it the second time. They called me to offer me 'another deal' of not charging me more than $1600 for the third repair in less than a year and they would go ahead and throw in an extended warranty for 18 months this time....Yeah right like I am gonna give them another dime. They have no idea what they are doing there and Jimmy who has only been working there for the last week, says that he wasn't the one that did the repairs so I wasn't giving him very much room to argue....Unbelievable. Buyer beware at this joke of an establishment. They are piss-poor mechanics. Never take your car to a place even that has a national brand identity. AAMCO is a franchise so each guy is out there to make money as cheaply as possible. Take your car to a real mechanic and never trust anything they tell you!!!!!!!!!!!845 !!!

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Bad Job
Posted by Jurgenh on 09/10/2008
EAST POINT, GEORGIA -- We needed a new transmission for our minivan, some one recommended us to Aamco East Point Ga.
We got the van back and it was running fine until about 1 week after the warranty was over.
We broke down with transmission problems, had the car towed to my trusted auto shop( I should have used in the first place) and he told us that that was a very bad job done by Aamco. We had to get the transmission replaced again.

I did finally get a hold of the manager/owner after my complain being ignored for over one month, and the lame excuse was: Sorry we had a bad contractor at that time, I was offered the same price as last time (thanks a lot), after some conversation, they said they would look into it and see what they could do to help. I never heard from them,again. The Aamco main office was absolutely no help either, they didn't care.

All I wanted is to get a discount or some kind of help, but the way I was treated and brushed of is unacceptable. I will never do business with Aamco again and have for quite some time told every one I can think of, about the problems I had with Aamco East Point Ga ,and will continue to do so.
I wonder how many to how many lost customers that amounts to. probably a lot more than what it would have cost to do the job right and do what they are supposed to do CUSTOMER SERVICE

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Posted by pennypicher on 2008-09-10:
I too should have learned from the past. My daughters car had a new tranny put in via Lynn Mass. Less than 9 months later we couldn't move the car. Locked in gear?? Finally got car to move and went back to Aamco. Removed tranny and found broken teeth. were causing jam. Need new $2500 tranny. Less than a year but over the miles so no warranty. Made them reinstall the tranny and sold the car. SCREW them!!! The first time they also replaced the wrong side wheel bearing then had the balls to charge me for replacing the correct one a week later. Big name poor workmanship, cust service etc.
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The Worst Customer Service Experience of My Life
Posted by A Criminally Negligent Operation! on 08/27/2008
WINSTON-SALEM, NORTH CAROLINA -- Last spring, I was having trouble with my vehicle skipping and jerking when it took off. I took it to the Aamco Transmissions shop on University Parkway in Winston-Salem, NC for to have a “free” diagnostic test done. Manager [snip] contacted me later that day and informed me that I had some “internal transmission problems.” He said he needed to do an internal diagnostic test to be sure what exactly these illusive problems entailed. The internal test cost nearly $500 and required the transmission to be removed from the car. In my naivety, I trusted the manager’s words and agreed to have the work performed. [snip] advised me that he would help me negotiate the warranty for the car to have the work covered. This was a Friday afternoon. I asked if I could come and pick the car up and bring it back the following Monday, as the shop was closed on the weekends, but [snip] said he couldn’t promise it would be covered by the warranty if driven off the lot, and strongly advised me not to move it. Around closing time that evening, we discovered that my car was not covered under warranty and I made the decision to have the internal diagnostic test done. I was told that work might begin as early as the next day.

Upon leaving the shop that evening, it took one phone call for me to encounter someone who had had a negative experience with the very same shop. I was cautioned not to trust the company, and to recover my car right away. I immediately called the shop--this was about 10 minutes after I had left. My call was forwarded to a voicemail (the manager and owner take turns answering calls after hours).

I left a message rescinding my permission to repair the car and imploring the recipient, whom I later discovered was [snip], the owner of the establishment, to return the call. Subsequent phone calls yielded no response.

The next morning around 8:00 a.m., I traveled to the shop in hopes of encountering a mechanic who could release my vehicle. When I found no one on the premises, I again called the shop number, this time getting [snip] in the flesh. [snip] apologized profusely, saying that [snip] was out of town and he was not sure he would be able to get in touch with him. While [snip] told me he “wished he could help” me, his hands were tied, he said. There was nothing he could do. He promised to keep calling [snip] and leaving voice messages. I wrote two notes to the mechanics at the shop and posted them on the front and bay doors, as advised by [snip] (when pressed).

I returned to the shop later that afternoon and observed that my car had been moved on the risers; my notes had obviously been ignored.
That Monday morning, I called the shop only to learn that my transmission had been removed, despite my pleas to suspend its service. I was told by [snip] that no one had seen my notes.

Desperate to recover my car and avoid incurring any further costs, I agreed to pay the exorbitant amount of $400 in labor fees that [snip] said he could not avoid charging me. No internal diagnostic test had been performed, I was told, and so in essence, I paid $400 for the right to take my car back.

Feeling unsettled by the way the whole situation occurred and by the way that [snip] virtually begged me to leave the car in his care, I drove straight to a mechanic that I trusted to have it checked out.

Within minutes, my mechanic discovered that the shifter cable on my transmission had been snapped and was replaced with plastic zip ties.

Furious, I returned to the shop to confront [snip], who was unmoved by my anger and seemed largely unsurprised by my findings. He goaded me and told me to “sue him” if I saw fit. He said that he would fix the part, but I no longer trusted his word or the work of his mechanics.

After much investigation, I tracked [snip] down and discovered that he was the owner of the shop. [snip] never apologized for what happened to me and offered little assistance or concern, saying only that he would “talk to” [snip].

I later called the corporate office, only to find them equally unhelpful. Weeks of phone calls to every conceivable person led only to the conclusion I had reached on my own: my only option was to allow the shop to replace the part.

The part has been on back order since February and I am still awaiting my repair. I later learned that my all my transmission needed was a $12 gasket, which my non-mechanic boyfriend discovered by simply crawling underneath the car and looking.

This is the worst customer service experience I have ever had, by far. I am not a wealthy woman, and this experience has been the source of great emotional strain and angst for me. I have lost my faith in businesses and still get a sick feeling in my stomach every time I pass the shop. It is my hope that sharing my story will spare some other trusting soul the unrest I still endure.
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Posted by Anonymous on 2008-08-27:
Unfortunately, this is the way with several mechanic shops today. Especially if they see that a woman is coming in alone. They see that as an opportunity to charge you for work you don't need. I would recommend that next time, when you go to a mechanic, to bring your boyfriend with you if you can. I always bring my dad with me, or at least have him call the mechanic before I go over there. But I digress.

I think it would be a good idea for you to contact an attorney. You say that you have proof that the other mechanic saw the cable ties, right? If that's so, maybe you can get them to refund you the money for losses. I wish you the best of luck.
Posted by moneybags on 2008-08-27:
Contact your DA and ask about aconsumer fraud unit. This is a great criminal case for them (set up a sting) and/or contact 20/20 or 60 Minutes! Also contact the State Attorney General's office. Again-consumer fraud.
Posted by vermont patriot on 2008-08-28:
so typical of aamco...STAY AWAY FROM THESE CHAIN REPAIR SHOPS!!!!!!!
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